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Stones In Their Element

Transformer inspired stages, pyrotechnic & electronic special effects and super-sized props have turned stadium and large arena concerts into the kind of over-the-top spectacles that action-adventure films turn itno when more time and money goes into special effects than quality screen plays and actors.  Ask someone about the U2 3600 tour, the Roger Waters Wall tour or the Rolling Stones Bigger Bang tour and chances are good the first thing they will talk about relates to the staging.  Bruce Springsteen might be the only stadium/large arena Rock artist left determined to keep visual trappings of his stage set up from eclipsing the music. 
Ladies And Gentlemen The Rolling Stones  takes us back to the days when a Rolling Stones concert was all about the music - when the only props and special effects were Mick's clothing and a dab of glitter.  Filmed during the 1972 Exile On Main Street tour, the movie also has long shots of band members instead of the thousands of speed-cut glimpses that make so many modern concert movies and music videos come off like they were produced or edited by someone using crystal meth to treat their A.D.D.
Although the film was cobbled together from four concerts in Texas, it would be easy to believe it was all recorded during one show were it not for Mick's rotating wardrobe. Anyone who caught the tour probably ranks it among the best concert experiences in their life - and the movie does a good job of conveying why.  The band is at it's live peak.  Jagger and Richards push and play off each other brilliantly, and Mick Taylor is given enough time and space in the songs to demonstrate why he is still sorely missed by fans that got to see the Stones before he departed at the end of 1974. 
The 14 songs from the tour performances are augmented with some great bonus material, including rehearsal versions of Shake Your Hips, Tumbling Dice and Bluesberry Jam, plus 1972 and 2010 interviews with Mick Jagger.


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